Technicolor has been instrumental in defining every display technology throughout its 100-year history, and the company is marking their centennial this year by using one of the latest – Sony’s BVM-X300 OLED HDR 4K professional reference monitor.
The well-known production and post-production house works on features, episodic, and marketing material across the content scale from major studio productions to award-winning independents. Technicolor has been leading the topic of High Dynamic Range (HDR) through many outlets including the foundation of the UHD Alliance. Its services range from color grading, mastering services, VFX and final delivery, all of which have now incorporated HDR content.
“Technicolor’s technology is now also being used in live event production,” said Josh Limor, VP, Technology & Ecosystem Development at Technicolor. “This includes implementation of our award-winning Intelligent Tone Management solution into live workflows to allow for real-time up conversion from Standard Dynamic Range (SDR) to HDR, lowering the cost of HDR live content production, such as sports.”
To handle this new workload, Technicolor is using Sony’s BVM-X300 as its reference monitor to grade features for HDR Home Video and HDR Television Series.
“We grade to the open standard HDR quality metrics established by the UHD Alliance and that content is being released through Technicolor’s HDR delivery system, UltraHD Blu-ray discs, and HDR-10,” added Limor. “The Sony monitor, with its 100% coverage of the P3 gamut at a D65 white point and amazing contrast plays perfectly for creating UHD Alliance premium content, ensuring consumers will have the best experience on both types of UHD Alliance premium certified devices.”
Technicolor is working on HDR content with several major studios and online content providers. “The Revenant” from New Regency was graded at Technicolor, and Technicolor helped Amazon produce the majority of its original series in HDR, including “Mozart in the Jungle” and “Red Oaks.” These titles were graded by Technicolor artists on the Sony X300.
“This monitor has become the de facto “standard reference monitor” for mastering HDR content, primarily due to its stability, uniformity, and fabulous contrast ratio,” added Josh Pines, Vice President of Imaging Research and Development for Digital Intermediates at Technicolor. “What is especially impressive is the monitor’s ability to maintain color fidelity and contrast at off-axis viewing angles – something surprisingly rare with modern technology displays. This feature is of crucial importance in color correction sessions where several creatives (e.g. the colorist, the cinematographer, director and producers) are typically sitting side-by-side, all viewing the same monitor from different angles simultaneously.”
“Having a monitor capable of full UHD resolution allows us to see the complete resolution of the content being mastered,” said Dennis Berardi, VFX Supervisor at MR X. “Our QC team can see any potential VFX composite or matte issues down to the pixel level and that is not possible on an HD screen even if it has HDR.”
Sony designed the BVM-X300 to fill a specific production need unmet by other reference monitors. “High-dynamic range cameras have been around for a while, but until now, it’s been impossible to really view an image from a camera like the F5, F55 or F65 as it was originally captured,” said Gary Mandle at Sony. “The best you could hope for was to archive the raw content and wait for the display technology to catch up. Now, the X300 presents a solution that allows direct viewing at full range without the need to make any conversion LUTs or changes to the native image.”